PASADENA, Texas – A recent groundbreaking of the Maritime Training Center was held to mark the beginning stages of construction of the future home of all maritime training at San Jacinto College.
At the site of 3700 Old Highway 146 in La Porte, one can see the view of concrete piers that will support the 45,000-square-foot San Jacinto College Maritime Training Center.
San Jacinto College Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer explained how the rapid growth of the College’s maritime program over the course of four years has brought the program to this point of expansion.
“When we began envisioning what we wanted to see for our maritime training program, we knew we had to build a world-class facility,” said Dr. Hellyer. Since 2010, the College has awarded approximately 3,200 U.S. Coast Guard-required certifications and developed the state’s first associate degree maritime transportation program. In 2012, the College purchased 13 acres of land along the Port of Houston to begin the process of building the Maritime Training Center.
“We looked at a lot of different locations along the water, and we kept coming back to this property,” added Dr. Hellyer. “The Maritime Training Center was developed based on industry input and leadership, and will allow us to put in place the training areas that are required to make this program a success now and in the long term.”
Maritime employment remains strong in Texas, as the state leads the nation in export tonnage and imports. Well over 1 million jobs are related to marine cargo activity at the Port of Houston and private terminals, according to a report by the Port of Houston Authority. Issues such as an aging workforce and expansion of the Panama Canal also drive the need to train and prepare more mariners for the industry.
The San Jacinto College Maritime Training Center, set for completion in approximately one year, will provide certificate, associate degree, and incumbent worker maritime training, and will include U.S. Coast Guard-required and approved deck and engineering coursework to prepare mariners for work commercial vessels, from deckhand on an inland towboat to captain of an oil tanker.